Monday, May 21, 2018

Hiking Grand Lake Reserve

Grand Lake Reserve
1000islands #1000islands

I'm not sure what we were expecting when we did our first hike at one of the Grand Lake Reserve Trails. But whatever it was, this series of trails which are part of the Indian River Lake Conservancy (IRLC) fare exceeded them. There are about 10 miles of trails passing through an incredible variety of habitats. At this writing, we have hiked almost of their trails except for the 2.5 mile trail located on Grass Island. We previously wrote about the Redwood Hill Preserve. All of the Grand Lake Reserve Trails are on the opposite side of Butterfield Lake. While they are accessed from Cottage Hill in Redwood, the land is actually located in Theresa. Even the drive to the trails was beautiful though we do suggest carefully following the directions. Directions:

For first-time visitors the Grass Lake Overlook Trail is a must! As the name states you will arrive at a spectacular view of Grass Lake from a bluff on the trail. One can take a quick side trip by an old abandoned sugar shack on the way back, or proceed to the North Ridge trail (not maintained) which takes you down to the shore of Grass Lake.  

If you are up for what they consider their most challenging trail, you can head across the street for the trailhead to the Butterfield Lake Landing Trail and look for the trailhead to the Eagle Marsh Trail. This trail, while not long (a 1.3 mile side trip) will take you on some exciting inclines (some even with ropes to help you navigate up or down).

You will ultimately end up at two different breathtaking views of Eagle Marsh and Butterfield Lake before bringing you back to the main trail.

The trail is fairly well marked but we had to pay attention more than on other trails with obvious well worn paths. But definitely worth the trip! If that sounds a little too dramatic for an easy hike, just stay on Butterfield Lake Landing and you will end up at the shore of the lake from this old farm lane trail. Maybe we’ll see you there!

Update/Addendum to Hiking Grand Lake Reserve 9/1/18
Butterfield Lake Trail
We had done a good part of the Butterfield Lake Landing Trail before, but had gotten distracted by the lovely Eagle Marsh Trail and never made it to the end of the Butterfield Lake Trail which ends at… (drum roll)…Butterfield Lake.   When we did the trail today, we couldn’t believe we almost passed this one up.  The trail is an easy 1.66 mile one way down an old farm path or road. We admit the late summer growth was high in some of the more meadow parts of the trail, but much of it was through the woods and the end was well worth the hike. 
We arrived at Butterfield Lake and an amazing view of the cliffs on the other side of the lake (where the Redwood Hill Preserve Trail is looking back from).  
There is a Kiosk on either end of the trail because it can be accessed by boat from the lakeside.  We loved this hike and will be back! 

Be sure to see...

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve